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If you are familiar with tourism in the Dominican Republic and like to travel, you probably have heard already of Montaña Redonda. This is a famous tourism excursion on the top of a hilly area where you have a stunning 360 degrees with to the adjacent valleys. But have you ever heard about the little neighbor Laguna Redonda?
Where is Laguna Redonda?
Laguna Redonda can be found in the northeast of the Dominican Republic. It’s part of the district El Seibo and in a rather scarce populated area of the country.
As you can see on Google Maps, it is quite close to Montaña Redonda and shares even the same name. Both are ‘redonda’ which means ’round’ in Spanish. Okay, if I see it on Google Maps, it might not be perfectly round but I think that you get the idea what I mean.
What is Laguna Redonda?
Laguna Redonda is one of the many aquatic and hidden places in the Dominican Republic. The country is rich of lagoons that create habitat for both flora and fauna. Laguna Redonda has an extension of 1.93 mi² (5 km2) and consists of salt water. It’s connected with the near sea through Caño Celedonio.
Laguna Redonda has been a livelihood for hundreds of poor families who fish with rustic instruments to survive in this place of just a few opportunities. Some species of fauna that can be observed in the lagoon are: crabs, tilapia, bass, shrimp and guabinas.
Lagoons in the Dominican Republic are a pure paradise for bird watchers. The birdlife around Laguna Redonda is also rich and is represented by Pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), the common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), great egret (Ardea alba), black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja), northern pintail (Anas acuta).
Unfortunately I haven’t had sufficient time and boats to discover the whole lagoon. But what I saw from the shore was kind of beautiful already.
How to reach Laguna Redonda?
Laguna Redonda is not touristically developed and accessed. Meaning, that you need to invest a high effort to reach it. But it’s worth it if you want to have an individual and exclusive feeling.
Usually, tourism destinations and excursions in the Dominican Republic are completely overrun. This one’s not. I had the luck to be there on my own. If we zoom a bit out at Google Maps, we can see, that there is only one single pathway to reach Laguna Redonda:
The Atlantic is in the the north and there are no connections both from east and west towards the lagoon. This makes it a bit more difficult to reach.
Here is how you get there: On the highway 104 (RD-104 Carretera Bávaro) you see a quite an unremarkable green traffic sign with ‘Laguna Redonda’ on it. It’s probably around 1.5 miles (2,5 km) away from the entrance to Montaña Redonda. Just continue driving for about 10 – 12 minutes and you’ll reach Laguna Redonda.
That’s the official part you would guess by planning it from the outside. But I was beneath the surface and can tell you, that you should park the car approximately where you can see the little white square on the screenshot. Why?
Is it easy to access Laguna Redonda?
It’s better to walk the rest of the route to the lagoon. Shouldn’t be more than 1/2 or a 3/4 mile from the marked checkpoint. You should see a gate:
The road conditions are not stable enough and look the following:
You better not wear sandals, flip flops, etc. and rely on sturdy shoes. That’s what I can recommend, because I wore flip flops and looked more than dirty after reaching the lagoon 🙂
But on dry days without rain it won’t be easier either. Here is how the path looks like:
To be 100% sure to reach Laguna Redonda safe and to not get stuck in the muddy terrain, you should only access it with a jeep or a SUV. Everything that has a 4×4 engine is the only secure car to go there.
Of course you could as well motorbikes, quads, etc. These vehicles would be even more suitable to enter the difficult terrain. But once you reached Laguna Redonda, it’ll be more than worth it!
Why is the water at Laguna Redonda green?
That’s a good question, isn’t it? If you took a closer look to the videos and photos above, you’ll see a green shimmer at the water surface.
The reason for the green water are the mangroves and the rotten leaves from the surrounding trees. In combination with the very salty water, this rare effect of green water is produced. It corrodes at the bottom of the water surface. There are no rocks or stones that could wash the water and make it a little more clear.
That’s why the water at Laguna Redonda shimmers in a light green hue.
I have seen a lot of green water places like stagnant ponds, natural pools or puddles. Mostly, because they are not moving waters. But this was the first time, that I saw a moving water with this green hue.
I decided to not swim there, rather enjoy a few silent minutes at the shore and observed the little fisher boat before I continued the trip to Montaña Redonda.
Laguna Redonda is one of these many hidden destinations in the Dominican Republic that are barely known and communicated. Few information are available of it and you have to search for places like that. But once you discovered one of these places, you can be sure to be the only person there.